Legal Q&A: Suing a public body from out-of-state (April 2018)
Q: Can I sue a public body for a SCFOIA violation regarding a request for information if I am a resident of another state?
A: Maybe. SCFOIA provides that “a person” may submit a request for information under the Act but later provides that only “a citizen of the state” is allowed to sue for a FOIA violation. S.C. newspapers should have an understanding from a correspondent based out of state that he/she is submitting the request for information on the S.C.-based newspaper’s behalf by the time the request is sent to a public body.
Taylor M. Smith IV is a media lawyer who represents the S.C. Press Association and its newspapers. As one of our FOI/Legal Hotline attorneys, he is available to answer your open government, legal and libel questions. Call (803) 750-9561.